Showcase week of events from School of Music and Fine Art, 8-12 May

Luisa Moonshine

From 8 – 12 May, there is a veritable feat of exciting, immersive and innovative events that showcase the final independent projects from third year students on the Event and Experience Design programme in the School of Music and Fine Art.   More info here https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events/eed-projects-2017.html

The Events Schedule (subject to change) is below and although FREE to attend, booking is via Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/2pQPc8H

Monday 8th May

ShuXin Wong: “MT Playhouse” – 12.00pm – 2.00pm Namur Room in Mess Deck, CHDT.
A participatory product launch event for Japanese product MT (decorative reusable masking tape). Live entertainment – Malaysian & world pop songs and craft activities related to creative travel journals.

Jake Thornton: “Dock Box”, 2.00pm – 4.00pm – Galvanising Shop, Production Space.
An alternative video tour of the Dockyard, a constructed narrative of filmic space and time.

Tuesday 9th May

Elise Berdah: “Fight Flight Freeze”, Drill Hall Library, Café – Archibald Hay Mess, Tuesday & Wednesday 10.00am – 9.00pm.
An immersive experience examining participants’ attitudes to and understanding of the issue of consent and serious sexual assault in Universities in the UK & US. This installation contains explicit accounts. The installation is a collaboration with Kent Union Welfare and Wellbeing team and is part of a week of awareness raising events.

Kira Tisbury: “Festopia”, 1.00pm – 4.00pm Galvanising Shop, Production Space.
An interactive immersive event, sharing memories of festival participation and experience.

Kirsten Short: “Hooked”, 11.00am – 7.00pm – Tuesday to Saturday (11.00am – 8.00pm Thursday) Box Park, 2 – 10 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6GY. A London launch and live retail event for online retailer “Hooked”.

Wednesday 10th May

Kylie (Min Jing) Lee: “Through the Lens”, 12.00pm – 2.00pm – Galvanising Shop, Production Space.
A participatory photography & travel/cultural event.

Savannah Giorgi: “A day”, 5.00 – 6.00pm – St Bartholomew Hospital Chapel, 5 Gundulph Road, Rochester High Street, ME4 4ED
An immersive and interactive video engaging with the dilemma’s and drama of everyday life.

Thursday 11th May

Linh Chi Dinh: “Vietnam through my eyes”, 12.00pm – 2.00pm – Galvanising Shop, Production Space.
An immersive autobiographical video journey in Vietnam.

Luisa Armand Ugon: “Moonshine”, 9.00pm till late at the Deep End, Student Hub, Pembroke Campus.
Rewind to the illicit society of 1920’s America. Jazz, flappers and mafia come together for a unique prohibition bar experience.

Friday 12th May

Greta Pencheva: “Inside the Raindrop”, 1.00pm, Gulbenkian Theatre.
Live and mediated dance performance.

Leah Stewart: “Unwind at University”, 12.00pm – 5.00pm – Galvanising Shop, Café & Production Space.
Participatory well-being event in collaboration with The University of Kent Student Support and Wellbeing Team. Pets as Therapy, Drop-in Meditation and wellbeing tips and tricks and more TBC!

 

IMAGE from Luisa Armand Ugon: “Moonshine

School of Music and Fine Art End of Year/Graduation Shows 2017

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The School of Music and Fine presents the End of Year/Graduation Shows for Fine Art, Event and Experience Design and Music, celebrating the talents of our amazing students!

SMFA End of Year Show Schedule of Events (subject to change)

All events take place at Historic Dockyard Chatham. Entrance is via the Galvanizing Shop Café and reception.

Fine Art Degree Show: “Reverberate”

Open to the public: Sunday 21st May to Friday 26th May, 10am til 5pm (closed Tuesday 23 May) and Saturday 27th May, 10am til 5pm

Special Private View on Saturday May 20th, 1pm-6pm, with guest speaker, Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller, and special performances. For guest list contact mfareception@kent.ac.uk

Event and Experience Design Live Events: “Borderless”

Monday 8th May to Friday 19th May in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space

Event and Experience Design Showcase

Open to the public: Sunday 21st May to Friday 26th May, 10am til 5pm (closed Tuesday 23 May) and Saturday 27th May, 10am til 5pm

BMus. Final Public Performances Showcase

Talented graduating students on Music and Popular Music pathways offer a rich mix of musical styles. Not to be missed!

Venue: Cargo Bar, Liberty Quays

Tuesday 16th May 4-8pm

Wednesday 17th May 4-8pm

Venue: Galvanising Shop Performance Space

Wednesday 17th May 11am – 12.45pm

Monday 22nd May & Tuesday 23rd May: Technology in Performance

To get your FREE tickets go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/school-of-music-and-fine-art-end-of-yeargraduation-shows-2017-tickets-33004272668

For more info go to https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events/degree-show-2017.html

 

Feminine Vessels in Medway heralds exciting new exhibition

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Preparations for the Interim Degree Show from 3rd Year BA (Hons) Fine Art students in the School of Music and Fine Art are now in full swing – literally.

On Thursday morning, should you have ventured onto Chatham Historic Dockyard, you would have encountered a strong female presence, floating high above your head, suspended from a large industrial crane. Just outside the School of Music and Fine Art studios, artist Luiza Jordan installed her delicate yet immersive artwork Feminine Vessels.  The work is the result of extensive research and discovery into the history of the Dockyard.

Artist Megan Boyle observes, “Jordan’s work is an exploration into materiality, which often manifests itself through sculpture and installation work. She attempts to represent the presence of the female, omitting images of the female nude and without explicitly making reference to the female body.  Rather, she uses materials associated with feminine identity and domesticity, engaging with organic bodily textures and shapes. In terms of the site in which these pieces can be found, Jordan aims to construct particular juxtaposition between the organic, fragility and fluidity of her invented forms, and the virile, masculine and industrial nature of her surroundings, which at the moment, is that of the Historic Dockyard, where the School of Music and Fine Art is located.”

Jordan is now continuing to experiment with size, scale and material to prepare her work for the upcoming BA (Hons) Fine Art interim Degree Show Loading…  but this time within the beautiful historic Georgian building that is Chatham House in Rochester High Street.

The show, which features work by 30 artists, will be open as follows:

Saturday 10 December – Wednesday 14 December, 11am-4pm (closed Tuesday).  

The Private View is Friday 9 December, 6-9pm.  

If you would like to be on the guest list, please book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/loading-private-view-for-the-interim-fine-art-degree-show-from-3rd-year-ba-hons-fine-art-students-tickets-29333853345

Show venue: 351 Rochester High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1DA

Further information here:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mfadegreeshow/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mfadegreeshow/

 

Credits:

Artwork by Luiza Jordan (2016); Feminine Vessels: balloons, wool, string.

Images by Rose Sizer.  Words by Megan Boyle

 

Visiting Artist Talks in Medway from Tuesday 11th October: FREE to attend

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The University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art is thrilled to welcome painter Simon Ling to deliver the first talk of our fantastic Visiting Artist Talk programme in The Royal Dockyard Church at the Historic Dockyard Chatham on Tuesday 11 October from 6.15pm.

Born in 1968, British artist Simon Ling studied at Chelsea College of Art & Design and then at the Slade School of Art in London. His practice is involved in a deep engagement with painting and his subjects can often appear banal street scenes, still lifes, rocks, stones or patches of scrubland – but through a process of sustained and rigorous looking, his works transcend the ordinariness of their initial appearance, taking on a strange and at times unsettling quality.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/nov/08/why-painting-still-matters-tate-britain

In 2015, Ling had a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle, Bergen, and London art gallery, greengrassi, as well as taking part in numerous group exhibitions including Tate Britain, Camden Art Centre, and CAPC Bordeaux, France.

All the talks are FREE to attend.  Please book via Eventbrite http://bit.ly/2dbMHd4

To find out about the entire series of talks, with speakers who include Martin Clark, Heather Phillipson, Erica Scourti and Maria Fusco, click https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/fineart/visitingartists2016.html

 

School of Music and Fine Art: Events in Medway

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We have some fantastic – mostly free – creative events coming up in Medway between now and December in the School of Music and Fine Art, and our Autumn What’s On booklet is now out!  Print copies will be available from our Reception and in various venues across Chatham, but you can also view events online here.

https://issuu.com/musicfineartkent/docs/smfawhatsonautumn16

Please do share with anyone you think might enjoy our concerts and events, which mostly take place in the atmospheric Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Our exciting programme of Artist Talks is currently being finalised – watch this space for more info or check our website www.kent.ac.uk/smfa

And we also have a TASTER DAY coming up on Saturday 26 November – more info here! http://bit.ly/2d1ZkpL

Image credit Jane Seaman

Wanted! Singers and Musicians to take part in our Christmas Concert in The Royal Dockyard Church

On Wednesday 14 December, 2016 at 7.30pm the University of Kent Choir and Orchestra (Medway) will be performing Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols as part of the School of Music and Fine Art Christmas Concert in the beautiful Royal Dockyard Church.

We are inviting the local community to join the choir or orchestra and take part in this festive event.  Rehearsals take place on Wednesdays 5pm 7.30pm at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, with the first rehearsal on Wednesday 28 September. (Note: Orchestral players should be Grade 6 standard or higher).  We look forward to hearing from you!

To find out more contact Dr Ben Curry: B.Curry@kent.ac.uk

 

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Medway Open Studios – Saturday 16th July to 24th July 2016!

Heading into it’s fifth year, Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival has doubled in size since it’s inception in 2012! Taking place every July throughout the Medway Towns, the volunteers who run the festival aim to celebrate the wealth of creativity in Medway as it continues to thrive. The first festival took place in 2012 and highlighted the quantity of artistic talent in the area. Every year since, more and more artists have signed up and have subsequently benefited the festival by promoting a positive opinion of Medway.

No previous knowledge of Art needed or pressure to buy…just the enthusiasm to enjoy a day out with a difference! Rest assured, there’s something for everyone with such a range of work on show!

Click the image below to visit the website and find out more!

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Book now for Event in Medway for Arts Fundraisers on Thursday, 14 July, 2016

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I first encountered fundraising camps a few years ago when I was about to launch a crowdfunding campaign (my first) for a music project.  I set off for London on a chilly December day and came home energised and inspired, having met some amazing people who generously shared their range of experiences of fundraising with me, and the new skills I learned were so useful, that when, a year later, I had the chance to attend another camp in Canterbury, I booked my ticket immediately. So I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to invite Fundraising UK to bring the format to Medway on:

Thursday, 14 July 2016 from 09:30 to 16:00

Hosted by the University of Kent’s School of Music & Fine Art, this is a fantastic practical opportunity for local and regional arts professionals and fundraisers to learn, share good practice and network. Despite the name, there are no tents involved. (Phew!)

Fundraising Camp is a one-day ‘unconference’-style event for fundraisers: there are no set speakers and no set topics. Each participant is invited to suggest a topic at the beginning of the day. It could be something you know about, it could be a problem or a question you have and you want help with. Each Fundraising Camp invites local fundraising, business, philanthropy or grantmaking experts to help ensure even more practical fundraising knowledge and experience available at the event.

It’s like those valuable networking chat sessions you have at normal conferences – but for a whole day!  Fun, lively and practical, this is a concept that really works.

The venue is The University of Kent, The Historic Dockyard Chatham.  Book here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fundraising-camp-arts-registration-21486231898

Early bird tickets are just £30+VAT for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

More info here: http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events.html?eid=18365&view_by=month&date=20160724&category=&tag=

 

Fine Art Degree Shows 2016: An exhibition of 26 exciting emerging artists in Kent

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The University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art presents the Fine Art Degree Show 2016 in the extraordinary environment of The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent, featuring the work of 26 graduating BA and MA Fine Art students.

Opening with a preview on Saturday May 21st, 1pm-5pm. We are delighted that Patricia Bickers, who has had a hugely important role in creating and documenting a sustained, dynamic debate around British contemporary art practice, will be our guest speaker.

The exhibition is open to all and is free to attend.

Open to the public (10am-5pm): Sunday 22nd May and Tuesday 24th May – Tuesday 31st May inclusive.
Continuing a tradition of showcasing bold, exploratory exhibitions, visitors will encounter a broad range of artistic styles and media, an explosion of imagination and a celebration of art’s potential for society.

See the video from 2nd Year BA student Sharmaine Kwan https://youtu.be/fWygcAOOkaM

On Tuesday 24h May and Wednesday 25th May Education Days will be held for local schools and colleges.  Attendees will be able to view the Show and hear talks from the artists; they will also be encouraged to produce their own artwork in response to their experience of the Show.  If you would like to bring a school, college or university group to this event (all ages welcome) please email mfaadmissions@kent.ac.uk

The Degree Show Address:
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TY
Entry is at The Historic Dockyard Chatham Visitor Entrance, via The Galvanising Shop (next to the Dockyard’s visitors’ carpark on the East Road).
http://www.thedockyard.co.uk/plan/how-find-us

Contact Details:
For further press information and images of the works on display please contact School Reception: MFAReception@kent.ac.uk  or telephone 01634 888 980.

www.kent.ac.uk/smfa
Twitter: @unikentmfa
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UoKDegreeShow
Tumblr: http://www.degreeshow2016.tumblr.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/degreeshow2016/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Uokdegreeshow/

 

 

 

 

BA Event & Experience Design 3rd Year Showcases

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Work by graduating students from the School of Music & Fine Art’s BA Event & Experience Design is celebrated from Monday 9th May until Tuesday 17th May, 10am-5pm, with a range of innovative live events from EED 3rd Year projects in our production studios, performance space and in sites off the campus – ambitious projects, which creatively explore a broad range of formats and subjects, questioning what constitutes an event? This includes:

Huh an interactive multilingual cultural experience by Nian Earn Ooi.
My Diary an experiential journey via Taiwanese beauty products and treatments by Chien-Yi Yang.
K2, the Kreating Kindness Laboratory an interactive opportunity to generate and receive a small act of kindness by Sophie Cawsey.
Tides of Misfortune, a circus of lost souls an interactive performance by Jade Alcock.
Gothic Butterfly an artist launch event by Jade Wildes.
5 Minutes a physical and immersive game environment by Garrick Chan.
The Secret Garden Project an immersive walk in Chatham by Charlotte Harding.

And from 21st May, there will be a showcase of past EED student projects presented in Room 101. This will take the form of documentation. Opening times are:

21-22 May and then 25-31 May, 10am-5pm

Check our webpage for updates and regular bulletins! https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/

All events are open to all and FREE to attend. Click here to get your special Visitor Pass!

Venue:
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TY
Entry is at The Historic Dockyard Chatham Visitor Entrance, via The Galvanising Shop (next to the Dockyard’s visitors’ car park on the East Road).
http://www.thedockyard.co.uk/plan/how-find-us

The School of Music & Fine Art presents 3 Concerts in 3 Days in Medway!

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Don’t miss the incredibly varied programme for our Easter Concert on Weds 6th April at 7.30pm when music students from the School of Music & Fine Art at University of Kent, Medway, perform a lively array of scored and improvised music that encompasses Elgar, Adele, Bowie, Duke Ellington and drumming from Senegal.

In addition to the University Orchestra (Medway) performing the first movement of Edward Elgar’s Serenade in E minor in an orchestral arrangement prepared for this concert, the Chamber Ensemble perform works by Maurice Emmanuel and Luigi Boccherini.

The Chamber Choir will sing a range of songs that include Adele’s Skyfall Bond Theme, and Life on Mars, by David Bowie who sadly died earlier this year.  The Little Big Band play work that includes George Shearing and Duke Ellington, whilst the Jazz Improvisation Ensembles perform Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Sidney Bechet and a Handel arrangement.

And the World Percussion Ensemble presents Kumpo, traditional djembe drumming from Senegal in our own concert version.

So there is definitely something for everyone – a feast for the ears!

And the day before, Tuesday April 5th at 12 noon, there is another popular Ensemble Performance Lunchtime Concert when you can hear our students studying band and ensemble playing.

Both events take place in the Galvanising Workshop, The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

And don’t forget the Popular Music Gig on April 7th, 8pm until late, takes place at Cargo Bar, Liberty Quays, showcasing bands from the School of Music & Fine Art who will perform sets of original material and covers. These are exciting evenings with a fantastic atmosphere and always draw a crowd!

ALL 3 CONCERTS ARE FREE.  EVERYONE WELCOME.

No booking required for the lunchtime concert but for the Easter Concert, please book via https://alumni.kent.ac.uk/events/easter-concert-2016

For info on all 3 concerts and full programme for the Easter Concert go to http://bit.ly/1UYwGbj

To keep in touch with our upcoming events, please check https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events.html

#smfacreative

Photo credit Stacey Cooper

2016 Degree Shows: School of Music & Fine Art

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Throughout May 2016, starting on the 9th, the quality, diversity and range of work from the University of Kent’s School of Music & Fine Art’s graduating students from Fine Art, Event & Experience Design and Music is celebrated – and on show at various venues across The Historic Dockyard Chatham.  Entry is FREE and everyone is welcome. Check for updates and regular bulletins! https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/

#smfashows16 #smfacreative

Monday 9th May – Saturday 14th May

BA Event & Experience Design 3rd Year Showcase

The final independent projects of third year students on the Event and Experience course are being included as part of their ‘Showcase’ in our production studios, performance space and in sites off the campus.  This is an exciting expansion of the celebration and presentation of work made by students in EED as they are ambitious projects, which creatively explore a broad range of formats and subjects, questioning what constitutes an event?  From 21st May, there will be a showcase of past student projects.

Tues 17th May to Friday 20th May, 9am – 6pm

School of Music & Fine Art music student solo recitals.

Friday 20th May, 12 noon, Galvanising Shop Performance Space

MA Music Student Lunchtime Recitals

Saturday 21st May (Private View 1pm-5pm), then open from Sunday 22nd May – Tuesday 31st May, 10am-5pm (closed  23-24th) Engineering Workshop

MA and BA Fine Art Degree Shows

An exhibition of exciting emerging artists in Kent. Visitors will encounter a broad range of artistic styles and media, an explosion of imagination and a celebration of art’s potential for society.

We will be holding Education Days for our Degree shows on Tuesday 24th May and Wednesday 25th May for local schools and colleges.  Attendees will be able to view the Show and hear talks from the artists; they will also be encouraged to produce their own artwork in response to their experience of the Show.  If you would like to bring a school, college or university group to this event (all ages welcome) please email mfaadmissions@kent.ac.uk

IMAGE CREDIT: Yik Lam Yiu, BA Fine Art

 

 

100 University of Kent Students perform Beatles classic

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100 students studying in the University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art will give a concert of one of the Beatles’ best-loved albums, the B side of Abbey Road. Starting with George Harrison’s uplifting and heart-warming song, ‘Here Comes the Sun’, the Abbey Road B-side then takes the listener on a kaleidoscopic tour of an array of musical genres and styles through psychedelia, soul, rock, blues, vaudeville, proto-punk, country and worksong to finish with a pulsating gospel number lavished with hard rock guitar solos. This performance ends with a gigantic symphonic conclusion and features orchestral and choral sections throughout.

Ben Curry, Lecturer in Music in the School of Music & Fine Art at the University of Kent’s Medway campus comments:  “This is a fascinating piece of music – yes, it’s pop music but its musical scope and dynamism is serious and compelling from beginning to end.  Our performance is true to the spirit of the Beatles’ album with great solo singers and instrumentalist, but the use of the 80-strong choir alongside the brilliant orchestral arrangements of the Beatles’ producer, George Martin, draws out the symphonic potential of this wonderful series of seamlessly connected song.”

The concert also features two very different 2oth century minimalist works: Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint for guitar ensemble and Gavin Bryars’ ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’ for mixed ensemble and tape.

To purchase tickets, which cost £7 (£5 students)  please use the links below:

The Royal Dockyard Church, Historic Dockyard Chatham on Wednesday 9th March at 7.30pm  http://store.kent.ac.u

Colyer-Fergusson Concert Hall, University of Kent Canterbury on Friday 11th March at 7.30pm  https://uk.patronbase.com

IMAGE credit: Stacey Cooper

 

 

 

Pioneering experimental filmmaker Tony Hill in conversation at Historic Dockyard Chatham

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 On 24th February at 6pm, artist and pioneering experimental filmmaker Tony Hill will be visiting the School of Music & Fine Art at University of Kent, Medway to talk about his film practice.  Organised and funded by 51zero/voyager – an ongoing series of events, projects and touring activities, organised by 51zero, that engages directly with the communities of Medway, Kent, Northern France and further afield – the celebrated filmmaker will present and discuss his pioneering films and groundbreaking filmmaking techniques. Internationally renowned, Hill makes experimental short films that are somewhere between sculpture and cinema. To create his visually challenging and timelessly beautiful imagery, he often develops his own camera rigs, ingeniously using mirrors and unusual lenses, and sometimes humorous vantage points to make us rethink our assumptions about perspective, gravity, scale and movement.

Born in London in 1946, Tony Hill studied Architecture and Sculpture and has been working as an independent film-maker since 1973, he also works with installations, photography and sound and has presented his work at many galleries and in film festivals worldwide. His award winning films have been broadcast on network television in many countries and published in the UK and Japan, with commercial work including directing music videos and TV commercials. He taught film and video from 1982 until 2002 at the University of Derby becoming Professor of Film and at Plymouth College of Art from 2004 until 2011.

The  venue is the Royal Dockyard Church, Historic Dockyard Chatham and the Artist Talk starts at 6.00pm and will explore Tony Hill’s unique film production techniques highlighting the formalistic qualities and contexts at play in his work, followed by a discussion with curator Keith Whittle exploring Hill’s aesthetic and conceptual approach and the research and production processes involved in the making of his films. The event closes with an informal opportunity to meet the artist from 8pm until 9pm.

The event is free but RSVP is required. To book go to http://www.51zero.org/voyager/

For more go to http://www.tonyhillfilms.com/

For info on more events in the School of Music & Fine Art go to https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events.html

IMAGE CREDIT Still image from ‘Holding The Viewer’ © Tony Hill

FREE Artist talk from John Russell in Medway

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On Tuesday 23rd February at 6.15pm in the stunning setting of the recently refurbished Royal Dockyard Church in the atmospheric Historic Dockyard Chatham, acclaimed artist John Russell will give a free talk about his work as part of the Artist Talk series from the School of Music & Fine Art at the University of Kent, Medway.

Formerly a member (and founder) of the subversive London art collective BANK (whose antics included faxing galleries “corrected” versions of their own press releases back to them), artist Russell has continued to make art on his own which likewise casts a gimlet eye on the doings of the art world and culture at large. The centrepiece of his recent NY exhibition consists of a video made up of animated gif files that tell the story of a near future, where humans have learned to extend life by downloading consciousness into the brains of small animals. A tale of technological transformation, SQRRL is also a chilling allegory for our own time.

Recent solo shows include “SQRRL” Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York, 2016,  Jexus, MOTINTERNATIONAL Brussels 2012; Angel of History: I can see for miles, Focal Point Gallery Southend 2011; and Ocean Pose, Matts Gallery London.

Editor of Frozen Tears, Russell is Professor in Fine Art at the University of Reading and is Director of Research for Art.  His research interests are: “Affect. Affirmation. Figurality. Event. Art/politics. Art/philosophy. Art/language. Class. Performativity. Fiction/fictioning. Visualisation. Digital media. Philosophy. Bad philosophy. Printed matter. Staging”

Although the talk is free and everyone is welcome, please book via: https://alumni.kent.ac.uk/events/john-russell-feb-2016

IMAGE CREDIT: Untitled (Abstraction of Labour Time/ External Recurrence/Monad), 2010. John Russell

2016 Visiting Artist Talks launch with Jaki Irvine on 26 January

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On Tuesday 26th January, 2016 in the stunning Royal Dockyard Church, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, from 6.15pm to 8pm, the School of Music and Fine Art is thrilled to welcome Jaki Irvine, an artist working in mixed media, but mainly film, video and writing. She is represented by Frith Street Gallery, London.

Originally Dublin based but now living in Mexico City, she represented Ireland at the 1997 Venice Biennale. Overheard conversations and human incidents, casually observed, often form the starting point for Jaki Irvine’s work. She weaves these real events with fictitious narratives to produce haunting films and videos. Her work makes use of the potential discontinuity between moving image, musical score and narrator to undermine any sense of linear narrative. Irvine’s work suggests the fragmented mysterious and often absurd nature of the human condition.

The talk is part of an exciting series of visiting artists, writers, filmmakers, curators and performers who will talk about their work. Each speaker is renowned in their own field and uses imagery, materials and processes differently to pose distinct and searching questions to address the urgent concerns of our age. Our guests will provide a detailed presentation of their work, share their experiences of making work and also their involvement in navigating the complex multifaceted artworld.

Our Visiting Artists have national and international profiles, many are multi-award winners and their practices include multimedia installation, moving image, sound, photography, performance, socially engaged practice, painting, sculpture, publishing and curating.

Free to attend, and everyone welcome but please book via link: https://alumni.kent.ac.uk/events/jaki-irvine-jan-2016

Image credit: Production still from Se Compra: Siné.,  2014. Jaki Irvine.

 

 

Three FREE December concerts showcasing students from the School of Music & Fine Art

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A wide range of vibrant music making activities is available at The School of Music & Fine Art, from Chamber Choir and jazz ensembles through to the World Percussion Ensemble and the large-scale Choir and Band, comprising students from across the Medway campus. In December we will be showcasing the talent and skills of our students in a range of concerts that are free to attend.

On Wednesday December 9th in the Galvanising Workshop at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus, students from the School of Music & Fine Art perform music from a range of traditions. The Jazz Improvisation Ensemble  will perform works by Juan Tizol, Fats Waller and Joe Harriott.  There will be a performance of Frank Martin’s exceptionally beautiful Piano Quintet in D Minor and the concert will be framed by works with a festive flavour sung by the Chamber Choir.  This free concert starts at 7.30pm.

In the following week, there is also a chance to hear students from the BMus and MA Music programmes studying band and ensemble playing.  This Ensemble Performance Lunchtime Concert is on Tuesday December 15th from 12 noon until 1pm in the Galvanising Workshop, and will include performances of jazz and contemporary popular music.

Finally, from 8pm until late on Thursday December 17th the award winning bar and bistro Cargo Bar at Liberty Quays welcomes bands from the School of Music & Fine Art to perform sets of original material and covers.  This stunning nautical and industrial-style venue is the perfect place to sample some of the best live music acts the area has to offer.  The gigs are free to attend, always draw a crowd and have a fantastic atmosphere. The SMFA gig at Cargo last Easter was a huge success, with three bands from across the stages of the School of Music and Fine Art giving powerful and exciting performances.

Says Director of Music Programmes and Lecturer in Music, Dr Ben Curry, “I always feel immensely proud and excited when I see our students perform. Whether they are playing innovative pop, soul and jazz or pulling off a challenging work from the classical tradition, they always give compelling performances.”

For more information on any of these concerts, go to https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events.html?view_by=month&date=20151222&category=&tag=

The School of Music & Fine Art offers a wide range of degrees which include: BMus Music, BSc Music Technology, BMus Popular Music, and NEW joint honours BA (Hons) Music and English & American Studies, and BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Computing; MA Music, MA Music Composition, MA Popular Music, MA Music Technology, PhD Music and PhD Music Technology

POSTER CREDIT: Tayler Cronly-Dillon

 

Event and Experience Design students create stunning multimedia installations and performances at Fort Amherst

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On Thursday December 10th, from 1.30pm-4pm, students from the School of Music & Fine Art on the BA (Hons) Event and Experience Design create a choreographed journey through stunning multimedia installations and performances in explorative response to the physical, historical and social contexts of the atmospheric Fort Amherst, a Napoleonic defence system of underground tunnels and above ground deep trench earthworks known as the lines. This innovative event, which is open to the public and free to attend, produces an interpretive and immersive tour of the spaces and environs.

Based at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus, the Event and Experience Design programme is the only undergraduate degree in the UK dedicated to developing skilled practitioners for the creative events industry for entertainment, commercial, heritage, tourism and hospitality environments. The programme, which is offered both full and part time, has the 5th highest score for overall student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey (NSS) 2015, and 100% of graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduating, with 75% in professional or managerial posts (UniStats 2015).

Says Peter Hatton, Lecturer, “This project at Fort Amherst challenges the students in every way; creatively, logistically and technically. It is a great opportunity for them to devise, produce and present an event unique to its location for an audience. We are very grateful for all the support of the staff at the Fort.”

For more information on the event on December 10th at Fort Amherst, Khartoum Road, Chatham ME4 4UB go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events.html?eid=15093&view_by=day&date=20151210&category=&tag=

 

IMAGE CAPTION: Interactive Game, Pek Ling Liam, 2013. Photo Peter Hatton

 

 

School of Music & Fine Art launches new series of Visiting Artist Talks with Benedict Drew

TIFF Kaput Exhibition at QUAD Jul 15 credit Charlotte Jopling-51

The School of Music and Fine Art, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus,  is proud to announce the new series of Visiting Artist Talks, which are FREE to attend but booking is required. Please email mfareception@kent.ac.uk to reserve your place.The venue is the stunning restored Church in the Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Artists, writers, filmmakers, curators and performers, each speaker renowned in their own field, will pose distinct and searching questions to address the urgent concerns of our age. Guests will provide a detailed presentation of their work, sharing their experiences of navigating the complex multifaceted art world.

Launching the programme at 6.15pm on Tuesday November 10th is international Kent-based artist Benedict Drew, who works across video, sculpture, music and their associated technologies. Born in 1977, he graduated from Slade School of Fine Art in 2011 and was a LUX Associate Artist (2011/12). Drew’s often chaotic environments and installations feature screens, cables and small-scale anthropomorphised sculptures made from lo-fi materials such as tin foil and, occasionally, mud. Intended as a response to our ‘over-saturated digital realm’. Drew’s installations are attempts to ‘articulate the horror of the modern world.’

The artist says: ‘I make videos and music and exhibitions and picture and sculptures. I am interested in the potential of these combinations to create an ecstatic and sometimes abject alternative universe.’ A review from the current British Art Show observes: http://afternoondust.co.uk/blog/british-art-show-8#.VilIkxCrRR0

Benedict Drew’s “Sequencer” is all about stuff: sticky, splodgy, gooey stuff, material through and through. His film presented across multiple screens is full of rough, ready landscapes of dirt and rock juxtaposed with paint erupting like volcanoes or oil burps. It’s also full of holes: holes that gape like ears, squish and stretch like mouths, or wobble like the cones of the speakers scattered prominently in front of the screens, spewing out squelchy psychedelic goop. Yep, it’s all about stuff, and that stuff is sound: gleefully trashing the painstaking refinement and posed ephemerality of much of contemporary sound art, Drew gives us an earful of messy, splurging sonic substance that injects the silent, airtight contemporary landscape with a gelatinous, technologically-mediated roar. The horror of the Real — the material encounter with a thingy world beyond the control of language — becomes the bass pulse you can feel.

Represented by Matts Gallery, London, Drew’s recent solo exhibitions include: Heads May Roll, Matt’s Gallery, London; The Persuaders, Adelaide Festival, SASA Gallery Adelaide, Australia; Zero Hour Petrified, Ilam Campus Gallery, School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury, New Zealand (all 2014); The Onesie Cycle, Rhubarba, Edinburgh; Now Thing, Whitstable Biennale; This Is Feedback, Outpost, Norwich; Gliss, Cell Project Space; and The Persuaders, Circa Site / AV Festival, Newcastle (2013).

Links: http://www.benedictdrew.com/ and information on Drew’s work which attempts to tackle the anxiety and neurosis generated from the condition of dyslexia can be found here: http://events.arts.ac.uk/event/2014/12/18/Benedict-Drew-Dyslexic-Shanty/)

PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Jopling, TIFF KAPUT Exhibition at QUAD July 2015

Crowdfunding Chrysanthemums

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By Jane Ayres

Last year, I attempted my biggest challenge – launching my first ever crowdfunding campaign for a music and dance event in Kent. I’ve been excited by the idea of crowdfunding for a long time – ever since I attended a workshop by the fantastic Crista Cloutier. If your project is hard to categorise, or getting funding through the usual channels isn’t working, than crowdfunding is a way to approach your audience directly.

Like many enthusiastic fundraisers, I was seduced by success stories of other individuals and arts groups, and keen to try it myself. I can honestly say it is way harder than I imagined!

I went to a Fundraisers Bootcamp last month and it was perhaps reassuring in an odd way to learn that not everyone reaches their target and that it really is as tough as I am finding it. It’s been a steep learning curve – luckily I love learning! It took months to construct the crowdfunding page to get it right, and then we promptly ignored advice about how to do the video trailer. Instead, after several takes of unsuccessful talking heads, we opted to let the music – and dance – do the talking for us. Whether or not that worked is for you to decide.

I spent ages trying to create some unique, personalised and, frankly, lovely rewards for supporters – ranging from signed first pages of the new scores, to tickets for the concerts, to a chance to meet all the cast after the shows. All supporters will get credits in the special souvenir programme.

The bit of the process I find most difficult (and this is going to sound a bit strange) is asking people to give money. I quickly realised that I really don’t like doing this! The lovely folk at the Fundraising Bootcamp pointed out that people can only say No, and would I mind if I was asked to support a crowdfunding arts project? Of course not. But has that made it any easier? Not really. Why is it so tough to ask for help? I don’t know the answer to that.

But I do know I am passionate about the project I am fundraising for, and that all the rules of fundraising equally apply to crowdfunding. It isn’t a magic solution to raising money. However, it is a brilliant tool for communicating a fab project to a lot of people – with the hope that it will connect enough for people to want to share it with others.

So what are we doing it for? In a nutshell, the The Mirabai Project is a labour of love – a not for profit collective, with ambitious plans to stage innovative events that combine music, dance, design, film and new technology.

Chrysanthemums is our first event – an intriguing semi-staged concert with string quartet, harp, sax and 3 female voices – and special guests Elena Velasco-Peña and Luis Rodriguez, dazzling Argentine Tango dancers. This is our first collaboration with the young Canterbury based Leon String Quartet. Established in 2010, they are dynamic and versatile, with a wide repertoire and commitment to new music and innovative collaborations. Joining them are award winning musicians that include harpist Ruby Aspinall, sopranos Elizabeth Fulleylove and Gabriela Di Laccio, and Kent saxophonist Richard Melkonian.

The first show includes two world premieres. Award-winning composer Barry Seaman’s haunting Torch Songs is written for harpist Ruby Aspinall, and is inspired by songs about love, loss and friendship. Singer/songwriter Mariam Al-Roubi will be performing All Things – songs inspired by her forthcoming album, arranged for string quartet and harp.

There will also be sensual and romantic music from composers that include Monteverdi, Puccini, Caplet, Philip Glass, and new arrangements of tangos by Piazzolla and Gardel.

Chrysanthemums will initially be performed as follows:

Friday 17th April 2015, 8pm at the Trinity Arts Centre, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Tuesday 21 April 2015, 7.30pm at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury, Kent

If you want to be instrumental (pun intended) in both the creation and performance of beautiful music and know that your contribution and vision made it happen, please check our link.

http://www.sponsume.com/project/mirabai-project-presents-chrysanthemums

The crowdfunding campaign ends on 2nd February 2015 – so we now have less than a month to achieve our target of £2590 (eek!). To date we have 5 backers and have raised £425 towards commissioning new work, and I am so grateful to everyone who has supported us this far.

Any contribution would be welcomed. (See, I kind of asked!) But whether or not you can donate, I’d be truly grateful if you could share the link via social media and help to spread the word – and we sincerely hope you will come to the concerts!  Thank you!

Related posts:

https://creatabot.co.uk/2012/11/01/garrets-and-gatekeepers-by-jane-ayres/

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/06/30/crista-cloutier-the-video-all-creatives-need-to-see/

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/03/20/what-you-need-to-know-about-crowdfunding-by-crista-cloutier/

Links:

http://artsfundraising.org.uk/training/

http://www.fundraising.co.uk/

 Photo from Mirabai, Barry Seaman

Medway’s Creative Spaces

Medway is lucky enough to have multiple arts spaces that each have something unique to offer. If you would like to book a days tour (for a small donation to the Creatabot project) please contact Natasha on natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Nucleus Arts

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Nucleus Arts is the Award Winning flagship arts organisation founded by the Halpern Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was the brainchild of the late Hilary Halpern and it was his dream to promote the Arts in Medway and Kent. Nucleus Arts has become the cultural and creative heart of Kent & Medway over the past 12 years and focuses on affordability, accessibility and excellence in the Arts. They run multiple workshops, events and training programmes.

The main centre is at 272 High Street, Chatham, where the gallery, conference room and main artists studios are based. The artists open studios are held here every 1st Saturday of the month for all to attend for free.

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Nucleus Arts also have creative studio space in Military Road, Chatham, Rochester High Street (which also includes retail space) and Lower Stone Street, Maidstone. All spaces have a lovely cafe managed by Cafe Nucleus.

Nucleus Arts are working in collaboration with multiple local charities on their Arts Inclusive programme to make sure the arts can be accessible to all.

Sun Pier House

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This Community Interest Company was formed in 2012 to support and promote the best of Medway’s talent, providing a base for established and start-up businesses in the creative sector.

Within the building, there is a large exhibition gallery, tea room, events space, hire rooms, artist studios, open plan creative office space with hot desk facilities, all enjoying a glorious panoramic view of the River Medway.

Sun Pier House CIC actively promotes the businesses working within Medway’s creative community, encouraging them to grow and develop to their full potential. Sun Pier House is right next to Sun Pier, Medway Street, Chatham.

POP Creative Space

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POP is an abandoned shop turned into a Creative space in the heart of Chatham, Medway. The shop has been funded by EU and Recreate and hosts various free events and exhibitions throughout the year. POP is at 64 – 66 High Street, Chatham.

Unravel and Unwind

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Unravel and Unwind are working to develop a “country cottage” style craft drop in centre for crafters of all abilities, ages, background and culture where they can come and craft while they socialise-practice-teach-learn.

Their aim is to create a friendly open environment,”a crafting home from home” ) where local crafters & families can practice, learn, teach and sell their crafts. A place where skills can be shared and new ideas encouraging community engagement, increasing social well-being, removing isolation and possibly mentoring transitions into employment. They are based at Intra Arts, 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Intra Arts

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INTRA is a Medway based arts venue, hosting creative events, classes, activities and studios, and offering one of the best collections in Kent of specialist arts equipment accessible to the general public – especially specialist printing equipment.

The not for profit company Intra Arts Ltd. was formed in 2014 when they took on the former Spemco building in Rochester High Street. This Art Deco fronted, Victorian building is much loved in the historic area of ‘Chatham Intra’. Their aim is to provide an arts programme, creative opportunities and education in a space that welcomes people of all ages, abilities and circumstances. They are based at 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Real Medway and Swale – Augmented Reality Workshops

Real Medway and Swale are running two workshops to explain more about their augmented reality game project and to start planning the first games.  They are looking for artists, storytellers, game makers, sound designers and others who would be interested in helping to plan and create content for the games.  Book a space at either the Faversham or Rochester workshops listed below:

22nd April 7pm – Creek Creative, 1 Abbey Road, Faversham – book a place at:realswale.eventbrite.com

1st May – 7pm – coFWD, 161 High Street, Rochester – book a place at: realmedway.eventbrite.com

You can also keep an eye on developments at the website and on Facebook, or contact Roy via email: realmedwayandswale@gmail.com

Real Medway and Swale is funded by Ideas Test – Creative People and Places Swale and Medway

Real Medway and Swale workshop poster

Real Medway and Swale is funded by Ideas Test – Creative People and Places Swale and Medway

Transmit:Project – Are you the next big thing?

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Are you a musician/filmmaker/artist/photographer/organisation etc who would like more people to know about your work and what you do?

Perhaps you always wanted to know what musicians/filmmakers/artists/photographers etc live and work and create in Medway?

Would you like to transmit your art?  Would you like to project your talent?

Transmit:Project is a brand new project all about getting known.  Its all about providing a platform for upcoming and established artist and performers.  It’s all about having one place where people can go to find out more about the huge amount of talent that currently thrives in Medway.

This is going to be the place for local talent to be seen and heard.  This is going to be the place where audience inside and outside Medway will come to see what talent is around.  A while ago I wrote about some of the Medway scene with the popular Medway Visions articles.  I hope these will morph into transmit:project files as well as adding new ones all the time.

But it needs you.  Without talents to write about/broadcast then this project won’t get very far.  Make yourself heard.  Contact us.

Here’s how it works:

You send me a bio and some details about your work.

You send me a link to your work/send a cd etc.

With these things I can write about you.

You also send me a video file of you performing or a music video (musicians), interview/sequence of pictures of art (artists), sequence of photos (photographers) a short film (filmmaker).

With this I can post a clip of you/your work.  (If you can’t get a video file to me then contact me anyway and we can sort something out)

This will then be shown from the transmit:project broadcast channel:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8NHTvq6pzCSPZVfrOzDmzg

In time this project might spread out, but, for now, it’s all about Medway.  And what better place to start.  Transmitting art.  Projecting talent.

The Moon The Eye

transmitproject@themoontheeye.com

www.themoontheeye.com/transmitproject

www.facebook.com/Transmit.Project

Seasonally Effected – Creative Open-Mic Events – Medway

Seasonally Effected is a Rochester based open-mic night for creative and cultural exploration.  It features a diverse mix of performances including poetry, short film, comedy, short stories, original music, plays and a variety of experimental content that is less easy to define.  Usually happening at the lovely and cosy Dot Cafe on Rochester High Street, it is advisable to arrive early to guarantee a seat.  The first events for this year are planned for the 29th January and 19th February and will run 7-9pm.

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This year they are looking for performers who are up for more of a challenge. Organisers are suggesting people try something completely different from their usual practice, for example poets do a painting, singer-song writers perform some stand up, film makers experiment with flower arranging and storytellers sing a song.

The event is free to attend and there is no pressure to perform.  However, if you are interested in booking a 10 minute spot to share something you have created, whether that be film, poem, song, art, idea or other form of expression, contact them on: seasonallyeffected@gmail.com

Cybermen and Clay: objects and emotions by Jane Ayres

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Three: photo by Jane Ayres

 

We invest objects with emotional significance.  Although they are simply things, they can represent something that connects us to a person or a time in the past.  I have used objects as the starting point for creative writing exercises, and they can be useful for brainstorming ideas.

I try not to accumulate too much clutter (!) and only keep the few items that are precious, always mindful of the day when I’m no longer here and whoever is left behind will have the unenviable job of sorting out my stuff!  But on a windowsill, I keep a few “ornaments”.

My cyberman model/toy – with moving parts!  I’m a Dr Who fan and my favourite (and scariest) monsters were always the cyber men.  When I was a child, I would hide behind the sofa when they came on TV.  Something about the clanging metal, the unforgiving nature of a machine, the hollow empty space for eyes sockets – no emotion or humanity –  gave me the creeps.  The stuff of nightmares.  However my more recent developing interest in cyber technology, sci fi, robotics, and neuroscience gives me a different viewpoint. How many of us who grew up in the 70s wanted the special abilities of the Six Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman? (Without the pain and injuries, of course!).  Machines and technology have limitless power to transform lives for good.  I sometimes wonder, when experiencing heartache and loss, how it would be to feel absent of emotion.  A concept that is hard to imagine.

The Golem – My brother brought this back from a trip to Prague.  According to good old Wiki, “in Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being, created entirely from inanimate matter.”  The most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the late 16th century rabbi of Prague, who reportedly created a golem out of clay from the banks of the Vltava river, and brought it to life through rituals and Hebrew incantations to defend and protect the Prague ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks and pogroms. There are a whole host of legends and literature around the golem.  My first ever encounter with the concept was a 1966 British/American film entitled It!, starring Roddy McDowall, who was at that time one of my favourite actors. I was about seven years old when I saw it.

This model is a symbol of my fascination with creation.  I’m also intrigued the golem was associated with fighting oppression, which in turn connects to my loathing of bullying in any form. (See my post http://janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/which-fictional-character-would-you.html)

My clay horse.  And, strangely, in writing this I see there is a link between my clay horse, Ernie, and my golem – that they were both born from clay, an amazing substance which resonates with spiritual significance. I made Ernie at school in art class when I was a child.  I enjoyed shaping the clay and using my hands to create the shape.  I couldn’t do the legs however – they kept snapping off – so decided to make a horse lying down to obviate that problem! His tail also fell off, so he became a cob.  Ernie reflects my love of horses since childhood, and because I couldn’t have a real horse, I kept creating them – in my stories, my drawings and in plasticine and clay. When I left home at sixteen, Ernie was still living on my mum’s windowsill, where he stayed for many years.  After she passed away, I brought him home with me and he took up residence on my windowsill.  Ernie evokes a range of childhood memories and happy thoughts of mum.

I love the way that, unknowingly, all three of these objects are linked by common threads and themes; connections which I had never noticed before.

Creation.  New life.  Changed reality.  Words we could also use to describe what we produce when we write.  Wonderfully strange.

Related posts:

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/09/28/we-are-stories-by-jane-ayres/

https://creatabot.co.uk/2012/11/05/the-art-of-wish-fulfilment-by-jane-ayres/

http://www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/my-bookshelf-and-precious-memories.html

To find out more about Jane’s creative story, visit her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her recent e-book, Joyrider, is available from Amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joyrider-ebook/dp/B00F7V247Y

The Vision and the Voice: Part 1 by Jane Ayres

Photo by Roger Hyland
Photo by Roger Hyland

If I admire a writer, it will be for two reasons.  Firstly, their vision and the ideas expressed and explored.  I came to sci-fi late in life but I am astonished by, and drawn to, visionaries such as Asimov and Philip K. Dick and their prophecies.  Secondly, I am attracted to elements of style, structure and craft.  Sarah Waters, Lydia Davis, Mark Haddon, Frank Cottrell Boyce are wonderful examples.  You don’t always find vision and execution in the same piece of work but when you do, it is sheer joy.

Most writing courses and manuals will talk about the way a writer has to find their “voice”, and for some writers, I imagine this might be a natural process; instinctive and deeply embedded.

I’ve been writing for nearly 40 years, been regularly published – even had a bestseller – but still don’t feel like I’ve found my voice.  Maybe I never will.  Maybe I don’t have one.  Or maybe I’m afraid to let it loose.

Reading through some of my older work, I can see that my writing style has changed and, hopefully, improved.  But I don’t think I have a style that is distinctly “me.”

When I was in my twenties, I trained for 8 years to be a classical singer, and I enjoyed singing, but never had the dedication to pursue it as a career – nor the talent.  And crippling nerves made performing a struggle.  So I gave up.

Recently, after a twenty year gap, I had a singing lesson again.  I loved it.  Maybe, all these years of different life experiences – pain and joy – will help me to find my voice.

Singers express their art through a physical means, drawn from their breath, their essence, their life force.   They create their own sound, externalised from nothing, from within.  The way a writer creates something from nothing, by plundering the imagination.

A writer has to find that inner voice, that essence, and make it tangible through the choice of words and the patterns they create.  But more than that, a writer must reveal what makes she or he unique as a human being and give it form.

It is a mysterious process, this fusion of vision and voice.  A fluid, reactive journey of discovery – and it requires honesty and guts.

And how we see the world plays a major role, which I will explore in Part 2.

Have you found your voice?

To find out more about Jane’s writing and publishing experiences, visit her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her recent e-book, Beware of the Horse, is available from Amazon.

The Value Triangle and measuring the value of culture by Jane Ayres

P1030561The Big Cheese  (Photo by Jane Ayres)

Earlier in the month I attended a conference about using the arts to regenerate East Kent coastal towns, a topic dear to my heart, after spending 4 years as Marketing and Outreach Co-ordinator for University Centre Folkestone (which, sadly, is no more).  Listening to the speakers made me realise that I was still angry and upset about the loss of UCF (and I did make my feelings public, and then had a bit of a rant in the ladies loos afterwards!).  However, I learned a lot from the conference, and one of the speakers, when discussing the way that the arts and culture are measured and valued, referred to a concept called The Value Triangle, which I had not heard of before.

The phrase, it appears, originates from John Holden, an associate at the independent think tank Demos and a visiting professor at City University, London, who has been involved in numerous major projects with the cultural sector ranging across heritage, libraries, music, museums, the performing arts and the moving image.  We were shown a You Tube clip taken from the PARTicipate Conference in Belfast, which questioned and explored how the value of culture and arts impacts on the regeneration of Belfast. John Holden describes models of cultural value, and the value triangle of intrinsic, instrumental and institutional value. He then went on to discuss social return on investment and measuring change.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2QPHapOlSI

Having previously written a post for Creatabot on valuing art https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/05/12/twenty-dollars-worth-of-art-please-by-jane-ayres/ I found this quite fascinating.

The topic is one I will doubtless continue to explore.  The relationship between artists, and how they value themselves and are valued by others, is an important issue, especially when arts council budgets continue to be cut and so many are struggling to survive.

I had my first short story published in a UK magazine at the age of 14. I got £10 and will never forget how it felt to have earned what seemed a lot of dosh for something I had enjoyed producing.  This was 1974 and normally I would have needed to work for 9 hours washing up and waiting on tables in my cousin’s café to earn that much (My Saturday job). No wonder the life of a writer seemed a glamorous option!  Oh, how naïve I was….

Other links:

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/culture/participate.asp

To find out more about Jane’s writing and publishing experiences, go to her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her recent e-book, Beware of the Horse, is available from Amazon.

Learn More about Medway’s Secret Island During Medway Visions Film Festival – 12th September

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A film documenting the experiences of an artist living on Darnet Island for 6 weeks last summer is being screened at Gillingham library on the 12th of September as part of the Medway Visions film festival.

Otherness; Forty Five Days on the Isle of Beauty, shows the life David Wise lived during 6 weeks camping on Darnet Island in the Medway Estuary. David lived partly off the food he found there and recorded life with a variety of means including a pinhole camera made from driftwood.

The film is a great way to see parts of Medway that most of us have never seen, and learn more about the nature around us that often goes un-noticed.

The free screening will take place on the 12th of September at 7.30pm and will be followed by a questions and answers session with David Wise. At the screening David will also be launching his complimenting book which will be on sale at £15 which includes a £5 discount.

People can book by calling the library on 01634 337799 or email chatham.library@medway.gov.uk with the reference “45 Days Of Beauty”.

A poem dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern

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I moved to Medway some time ago

This place inspires me, as you well know

I wanted to help with the amazing creativity

To help it be seen by more, to prevent exclusivity.

 

But fortunately I had somewhere to start

Someone had already helped Medway’s art

This man was someone who needed a studio himself

But was happy to share space with someone else.

 

So he looked for a place that would be just right

And in Chatham High Street he found just the site

There was room for lots of artists, not just him

And this is where Nucleus arts was to begin.

 

He saw in Medway there was a need

So in making studios for artists he took the lead

Him and his daughter made lots of studios and gallery space

At last creatives in Medway could find their place.

 

All that happened in 2002

And the arts centre just grew and grew

And now as the arts scene here continues to boom

Nucleus arts continues to bloom.

 

Over 400 artists have been there to create

The effect on Medway has been great

I know I will never forget what Hilary done

So Medway creatives, let us make sure the work he started, carries on.

By Natasha Steer

 

Dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern – founder of Nucleus Arts Centre.

It was Hilary’s wishes that donations should be made to Nucleus Arts  – click here for more details.

Make a Website In A Night – 8th July 2013 – Rochester

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Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://websiteinanight-efbevent.eventbrite.co.uk/

In one evening Natasha Steer will help you create a simple website and show you the basics of how to maintain it.

There are just a few things you will need –

A laptop

Images for the website

Your bio details for the “About” page

Your email address details

Details of the domain name you own – OR if you do not yet own a domain name (ie www.yournamehere.co.uk) then please purchase beforehand or bring a debit card/Paypal details on the night so that we can go through this process step by step. 1&1 internet are really good – you shouldn’t have to pay more that £10.

Any questions just email natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Location – 161 High Street, Rochester (coFWD)

Time – 7pm to 10pm

Please note: Our venue is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to participate in an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.

Chatham Mural Project Workshop Dates Announced – All Welcome

Would you like to be part of an exciting community art project to paint a big mural showing scenes from Chatham’s past present and future? The site is next to Homestyle 206/206A Chatham High Street. Artist Richard Jeferies will develop designs based on your ideas and work with you to paint the mural. Whether you are 9 or 99 years old you are welcome to join in!

Workshops to develop the designs will take place on these dates at:

Nucleus Arts Centre – Conference Room

High Street

Chatham

Sunday 9th June 2pm to 4pm

Monday 10th June 6pm to 8pm

Wednesday 12th June 6pm to 8pm

Painting the mural: Monday 1st to Friday 12th July

Launch – 13th July alongside Medway Open Studios launch

The mural project has been developed by DNA and the workshops and mural are being developed by artist Richard Jeferies.

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Free Talk – The Creative Process: Words and Music – June 17th 2013 at 2.30pm – University Centre Folkestone

Some rights reserved by MarkyBon
Some rights reserved by MarkyBon

When composers and writers collaborate, what comes first – the words or music?  UCF hosts a conversation between Mariam Al-Roubi, singer, songwriter and librettist for the opera Mirabai, and its composer, Barry Seaman.

How does a creative work, such as an opera, develop from idea to tangible form through musical and written language? What is it like to adapt original text to produce a libretto? How do you ensure that you honour the original text (the opera subject, Mirabai, was herself a mystic poet, musician and dancer from 16th century Rajasthan).  How do you integrate newly written poetry? How does a composer work with a writer?  How is it different to working on an album? These questions will be explored and the dynamics of creative minds working together discussed, using musical examples.

About the speakers

Barry studied at York University, specialising in composition, and works have been produced and commissioned in most media, with broadcasts on Radio 3 and his music for silent films Tsar Ivan Vasilyevitch Grozny (Alexander Ivanov-Gai 1915) and The Life of Richard Wagner (Carl Froelich 1913) was widely toured in the USA. He has a special interest in music as a healing process. His most recent project is Mirabai, a large scale multimedia opera that combines ancient spiritual and romantic ideas with astonishing technology in collaboration with Musion Systems.

Mariam is a classically trained singer, dancer, musician and poet.  Whilst writing the libretto for Mirabai, she is also working on a number of projects, including her studio album. She studied BA (Hons) Music Technology at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.

About Mirabai

Mirabai is the third of a trilogy. The first two pieces were large-scale choral works: The Consoling Song (words in Sanskrit from the Bhagavad Gita; commissioned by The Brighton Singers and first performed in Brighton UK 2002) and Bhajans (words by Nimisha Patel and Elizabeth Newman; commissioned by The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton and first performed in Binghamton NY USA 2007).

In March 2013, The Lake, and Petals, two excerpts from Mirabai, were premiered by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra and the Krishna Dance was shown as part of the annual Kinetica Art Fair in London, presented by the Musion Academy. A short film of the Krishna dance scene has been produced, and directed by acclaimed film director, Tony Palmer.

 

This event is FREE to attend but advance booking is essential.

Please contact jane.seaman@canterbury.ac.uk or ring 01303 760600.

Area: South East    Folkestone

Half Term Creative Family Workshops – Sparky Project – 30th and 31st May 2013 – Rochester

 fuse#14mini

The Sparky Project is hosting hands on making workshops in order to create a series of parade structures as part of this year’s Opening Parade for Fuse Festival 2013.

Families are invited to help with getting the projects two main characters ready for the parade, the theme of which is ‘Time Travel’. The workshops, taking place in Rochester, are open to children accompanied by parents.

The Sparky Project aims to offer a wide selection of creative activities to a wider audience, and these workshops will offer an insight into some of the making processes involved with the parade.

The workshops will be held between 11am – 1pm on both Thursday 30th May and Friday 31st May.

Booking is essential, so please go to www.sparkyproject.eventbrite.co.uk to book a place.

The workshops will take place at the Scullery Studios, behind 376 High Street, Rochester, ME1 1DA.

Flyer Front copy

Area: Kent    Medway     South East

Be Part Of Medway’s New Art Vending Machine – CreataboX

Vending Filter

An art vending machine, CreataboX, is being launched at Fuse festival on the 15th of June in Chatham, and the project needs help from local creatives to produce miniature creations to go inside the machine.

Items can include art pieces, knitting, poetry, stories, music on memory cards and anything inspiring that can fit into a vending machine ball. Creatives are being asked to include information about themselves in the ball as this is a great opportunity for promotion.

The next free workshop is at 6.30 on Tuesday 11th June at 161 High Street, Rochester. Materials will be provided. Book here – http://creatabox.eventbrite.co.uk

The vending balls are 9cm in diameter and you can also bring pre-made work to the workshops, where they will be put into the vending balls.

The workshops are being lead by local artist Richard Jeferies, who is part of the CreataboX project. Richard has taught a wide range of artistic workshops and been part of many local art projects over the last 10 years. Speaking about the project he says “I would like to see the CreataboX building a link between artists and lovers of art. With its pocket money price (£1) I would hope it can bring art into more peoples lives, and at the same time give exposure and inspiration to creatives established as well as just starting out”.

It is hoped in the future that funding will be available to commission local creatives for further vending machine contents.

CreataboX has been developed through Creatabot by a team of people passionate about doing awesome things in Medway. It was inspired by the art vending machine in Leeds, but was altered to be multimedia.

Area :    Kent    South East    Medway

“Twenty dollars worth of art, please.” By Jane Ayres

photo credit Jane Ayres
photo credit Jane Ayres

Growing up in the 60s and 70s it was a treat after school to stop by the corner shop and buy a penny’s worth of sweets.  Lemon bonbons were my favourite.  They were scooped out of the huge jar and carefully weighed out, measured to the value of a penny and then placed in a paper bag.

Fast forward around 40 years.  I’m a big fan of the US TV series Parks and Recreation, a wonderfully observed, funny, warm character comedy  which centres around the employees of the parks and recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.   Season 2, currently on BBC 4, featured an episode in which office staff were invited to produce a design for a mural contest. Declaring he has no interest or talent in art, the seemingly shallow character called Tom decides to cheat and approaches a professional designer to do the work for him. Believing art to be simply another commodity, he requests “20 dollars worth of art”. I laughed out loud at this. (The irony is that he later falls in love with the abstract work produced, forming a deep emotional connection with his piece of art).

It got me thinking about how we measure the creative process in monetary terms.  How do we /can we value art?  And our time as creative producers?  I wonder how many artists have had clients asking how much art they can get for £10? £100? £1000?  Interestingly, commission guidelines for composers are often based on cost per minute of music, and writers can be paid per word for articles and features.

My e-books are priced between £1.95 – £3.98. Many e-books cost just 99p.  They could have taken 6 months or several years of work to produce.  What else can you get for £1.95?  Not even a cappuccino.  Is my latest book worth less than that?

Pricing and charging is a tricky arena.  Especially since creatives often do a lot of work gratis (and are often expected to do stuff for free).  I’ve done plenty for free – sometimes willingly and happily if I know that funding was a problem, other times not so much.  What is my time worth?  If no-one pays me is my time worthless? Would you ever assume that a plumber or mechanic or solicitor will work for free?

The arts make money. A recent report in the Guardian highlighted the fact that, “Analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that the arts budget accounts for less than 0.1% of public spending, yet it makes up 0.4% of the nation’s GDP.

The report is published amid fears that the arts will take another big hit when George Osborne announces his spending review in June.”  (Click link below to read the article).

We are all consumers.  But, as a creative, how do you value your time?  And that of other creative producers?

Links: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/nov/22/parks-and-recreation-bbc4

http://www.impulse-music.co.uk/commission_fees.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2013/may/07/arts-worth-millions-uk-economy?goback=%2Egde_4148866_member_238627525

Related posts:

http://janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/is-book-simply-commodity-should-you-be.html

Work Your Way With Words – The Word Shed – Various Dates – Medway

shed_graphic1_weblogo

ME4Writers present their collective, collaborative project ‘The Word Shed’ at Fuse Medway Festival!

Come and visit The Word Shed, where inside, instead of seeds, pots and a lawnmower, and that drawer that’s full of things that you might need one day, you will find yourself in a blossoming, inspirational world of words.

During the festival, visitors to The Word Shed will help create a new ME4Writers’ publication. On the first two days, visitors will have the chance to add their poem or short story to the growing publication, on the third day, the writers will perform highlights from the new, nurtured and fully grown publication, and giveaway a free copy

The Word Shed is a Spark Commission for the Fuse Medway Festival, 14-16 June 2013.

‘ Wordshops’

ME4Writers will also be running some creative writing workshops, ‘Wordshops’, in the run up to the festival, where we will invite attendees to write short prose and poems inspired by Medway, Fuse and festivals!

Wordshops will be held at:

11 May – 1.30-3.30pm – Rochester Library

18 May – 10.30am-12.30pm – Strood Library

25 May – 10.30am-12.30pm – Walderslade Village Library

8 June – 1.30-3.30pm – Chatham Library

Places are free – but please reserve a place with the library concerned, or by phoning 01634 337799.

All submissions will then be added to our website, and a selection will be available from the Shed on the last day of the festival, printed in our new publication.

ME4Writers are known for their innovative, collaborative projects, and guerrilla publishing techniques, and have previously produced a poetry treasure hunt game played around the streets of Medway, ‘Poetrymon’, and the popular ‘Letters Home’ project, which asked people to write about home, culminating in an afternoon of readings and an exhibition at Rochester Library.

Dates: The Word Shed will be at various locations in Medway throughout the Fuse Festival. For exact locations please see their website, nearer the time.

http://me4wordshed.wordpress.com / Twitter @wordshed / http://www.facebook.com/wordshed

The Art of Crowdfunding: Presented by Crista Cloutier – 22nd May 2013 – Folkestone

Image by Rocío Lara
Image by Rocío Lara

The Art of Crowdfunding: A one hour workshop for artists, writers and creatives presented by Crista Cloutier.

Crowdfunding is fast becoming one of the most popular ways for artists and creatives to raise money. But is it as easy as it sounds? What is involved in a crowd funding campaign? In this intensive one hour workshop, Crista Cloutier will discuss the recent trends in crowd funding as she reveals the successes and challenges faced during her recent Indiegogo project.

Participants will learn:
– What is crowd funding and how does it work?
– How to choose the right platform
– How to approach budgets
– The importance of planning and implementation
– The hidden values of crowd funding
– Dealing with failures and setback
– Tips and tricks

Actively involved in the contemporary art world throughout her career, Crista Cloutier works internationally as a writer, artist, playwright, and educator. For more information go towww.cristacrista.com

Host University Centre Folkestone
Start Time Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at 14:00pm
Entry Fee £FREE
Member Entry Fee £FREE
Location University Centre Folkestone
Mill Bay
Folkestone
Kent CT20 1JG

FREE to attend but booking essential – contact Jane Seaman

The weblink is here: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3848

Art Vending Machine For Medway – Lets Do This!

ArtVendingMachine

So…Leeds have recently been featured on the BBC news website  regarding their new art vending machine, and fellow creatives here in Medway think it is only fair Medway and Kent have one too. So lets make it happen.

Included in the vending machine could be art as seen in the BBC link.

Also poetry like this carried out here: http://nicelledavis.com/2013/02/19/we-made-our-kickstarter-goal-poetry-vending-machines-are-on-the-way/

The machine could tour round different venues and events 🙂 it would be so cool!

Any other ideas?

I am apprehensive to start an official crowd funder yet. It would be great to generate interest then ask people to send the money to a certain Paypal address – or just pay in cash at selected venues in Medway.

Ed Jennings has kindly worked out we need around £200 to buy a machine and the initial containers for the machine.

Can people who are willing to support financially, even a few £  –  please add a comment or email me?

Thanks guys! And thank you to Richard Jeferies for the encouragement to do this! 🙂

Natasha x

natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Get Your Application In For Medway Open Studios 2013 – Deadline 26th April

The Hazelnut Press studio - part of The Ridley Road Group
The Hazelnut Press studio – part of The Ridley Road Group

Registration for the Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival closes on Friday 26 April. All artists and makers from the Medway area are being urged to sign up quickly and avoid missing out on being a part of this creative festival.

Now in its second year, the arts festival has increased by 100% since its launch in July 2012. This summer, 30 venues will be displaying work by more than 100 local artists and students, making it the largest independent art festival in Medway.

To encourage more artists to sign up a Makers Market option has been introduced, offering pitches inside the new emerging art venue, Sun Pier House. The art market will be open over the weekends of the festival, with various products and crafts on sale. Apply before Friday 26 April to book your place.

The festival runs from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 July 2013. For more information please visit www.medwayopenstudios.co.uk

 

Area: Kent       South East     Medway

Hello? Is this thing on? – The People Fighting Your Corner

publicRelations

It’s been a while! Too long, in fact. So it’s about time for another article, methinks

This time, I’m going to try and shine a light on the weird and wonderful world of PR (or Public Relations in layman’s terms).

For those of you who don’t know, these are the lovely people that will be sending your music out to the world to get you as much profile, and radio play as they can, as well as loads of interviews, TV spots, and features as they can, and they can be split up into these rather broad categories:

  • Print
  • Online
  • Radio
  • Club

Print

The print PR team are going to spend their time targeting magazines and newspapers, ranging from being featured in their Albums/Singles of the Week to reviews, features, Q&A’s and more. Traditionally, these guys will also be writing up your press releases (I wrote previously about these devious documents here) and even biographies on occasions. Print is where most of your press would have come from in the old days, but with blogs and online editions starting to take over, this is less true, though still massively important. If successful, and I say ‘if’, because  PR can work day and night at times to make the project big but seemingly hit a brick wall, this is also where your quotes will come from for posters, product stickers, adverts and more.

Print press is the grandfather of PR in the music industry, and is continually merging with online going forwards as more magazines and websites increase and improve their web presence, which leads quite nicely to…

Online

 …Online PR (Pretty sure I’m breaking a lot of grammar rules using an ellipsis to bridge paragraphs but hey, that’s why I work for a label and not PR!). This is now arguably as important as print, if not more in the modern game. I say that because blogs are now the heart and soul of new music and main tool for breaking it. It’s also worth bearing in mind that it costs a magazine or newspaper to print an article in its physical form. The only cost of putting a review or feature on a website is bandwidth, the writer and whoever they pay to maintain the website, so as a rule they are much more susceptible to putting things up for you, given the amount of content uploaded in a day. This isn’t a make or break type scenario, but just an opinion of mine – you take what you want from it. It’s also a damn sight easier to get people to listen to your music on a website, with a Soundcloud link for example, than an article telling them the music is available to buy. That’s not to say they won’t go and seek it out at the record shop or iTunes, but think about it – one click of a Soundcloud/Youtube embed versus trawling through iTunes to find it themselves. This is probably a good time to note that PEOPLE ARE LAZY. Shove it in their face and make it as easy as possible and you’ll find more people will engage. Don’t believe me? Think about how you surf the web/read magazines and you should be able to answer me.

Radio

Radio can make or break a campaign. If you get loads of radio play across lots of a stations, then great! It gives you something to talk about and also gets the tunes out to more ears. If you get a few plays across a few stations, that’s good. Something, at the end of the day, is better than nothing. When you end up getting little to no plays, it makes the whole campaign a lot harder. After all, where else do you expect to hear new music? Traditionally that is, don’t forget how strong online is now, with iPhones, Galaxy phones the size of a dinner tray and tablets that make you try and remember why you ever had that giant, windows ‘95 computer tower decades ago. I digress. Radio PR teams will go and talk to presenters and producers (usually producers) and harass them until either they play your tunes on air or get removed from the building. They pitch to get you into playlists.

Now, for those of you that don’t know radio stations usually have a set of playlists, from which they make up the majority of the music in their shows. It usually consists of;

  • The ‘A’ Playlist – Big stars, super popular tracks (Adele, Beyonce, 1D and the like).
  • The ‘B’ Playlist – Tracks that are popular, but not quite at A-list status yet
  • The ‘C’ Playlist – you get the idea by now, right?
  • The ‘Specialist’ Playlist – This is where the tracks that don’t quite fit the mould sit, like big tracks that aren’t ‘pop’

This applies to most commercial stations, BBC Radio 1 & 2 and more online stations too. Just switch the genre up depending on the station. Presenters usually get one or 2 free plays, which are usually tracks of their own choice they can slot in once in a while.

As well as trying to get the recorded track on the air, they’ll try and get you in to talk, co-host where possible or go on and play a track. Be prepared to sit around for a long time to then play 2 songs, say 4 lines then leave. You’re at the mercy of scheduling, remember this. Especially live.

Club

The mystical and baffling world of club promo. Now as a rule this does not usually apply to traditional bands, it’s always been for electronic music really. House, D’n’B, Trip-Hop, Glitch Funk and Mooba-core. They’ll take your package of tracks and send it out to scores of DJ’s, both radio and live, to try and get them to play it. You often get loads of feedback from them about what they think of it but it’s incredibly difficult to track this back into sales. Get a review in a paper, have a website premier a single or have BBC 6 Music play your track, and it’s very easy to track and analyse just how effective it has been, be it new Facebook ‘Likes’ or 500 people buying your single. Club promo is almost under the radar in some ways. It puts the tracks in the hands of a select few people, nudges them to drop it into their set at XOYO or Plan B, hoping that the crowd goes wild and then goes off in search of just what the hell track it was. And there is your issue. Radio, print, online, all say what the track is, who it was by etc. In the club, you’ve either got to ask the DJ (If he/she’s not holed up in his/her booth), pray your ‘in the know’ club buddy knows the track or you can get close enough to a speaker to Shazam the track without overloading your phone’s microphone. A double-edged sword, but if you get the right DJ behind a track and they pioneer it, you’re onto a winner.

Now, I would advise all of you to read this as it is. I work with PR through a label, not for a PR company. This is just my words and thoughts and a little insight into how I see it working, as well as some generalisations and opinions I read in ‘Music Week’ from time to time. Do your own research. Approach a PR company and see what they think of your tunes. Get them to pitch you their opinion of how they could work your track and where they think is a good place for it.

This is also a work in progress. Undoubtedly I’ve missed things that I know but don’t remember that I know. Pop a question in the box below and I’ll do my best to answer it. In fact, here’s a link to my previous articles. Read them and ask me questions. I started writing these blogs to try and give an insight and some help, so help me do that by picking my brain.

By Luke Crook